Day 14: Mineral to Charlottesville
(Heartwood building in Acorn Commune)
At 8:30 AM, Ingrid came down from upstairs. I took a picture of her and we said goodbye. She asked if I wanted to stay another night, but I couldn’t because I have to get to Sarah and Bob’s place by the end of the day.
The rain was coming down hard in the morning. As I rode on bicycle route 76, I felt rain drops on my face like needle pricks. Sometimes, I couldn’t tell if the water that’s hitting my face is coming from the sky or the front tire. There were more hills this time. When I was walking up a steep hill, I heard someone from the back saying, “you can do it!” As it turned out, they were two ladies on their bicycles. I asked them if they’re going across the country and they said yes. These ladies just kept on pedaling up the hill, I felt they showed me up. But I kept at my own pace, telling myself that it’s not the speed that matters, I have to enjoy the journey.
The ladies waited for me further up the road. We talked briefly. They are going to San Francisco, along the same route that I had originally planned, only they started in Yorktown, VA. I tried to keep up the pace with them but couldn’t, so I decided to ride at my own pace. Maybe we’ll see each other again.
(Another rainy day)
In the small town of Palmyra, I went into a gas station convenient store to load up on my food supplies since I’ve eaten all of them. The lady there told me two ladies and a guy on bicycles stopped by here too, and there’s a restaurant called First Run Cafe not far from here, just across the bridge on the right. I thanked her and bought two packages of snacks.
She was right, the cafe was close by, and there were three Surly bicycles parked on the deck. I went inside and met the two ladies and another man. They are all cycling together going to Charlottesville for the night. I had a much needed steak on a Kaiser roll for lunch. The man, who looked a lot younger than the ladies, told me they’re trying to reach California in mid June and they want to average 70 miles per day. That’s pretty hardcore. Last night, they stayed at the fire station in Mineral since they weren’t able to stay with a Warmshower host.
(Cyclists stopping point at First Run Cafe)
(A much needed lunch)
By the time I finished lunch, the rain had stopped. An older couple rode in on their bikes. They are from the Netherlands and they wore some rain gears that looked really dry. The husband told me they are made by a French company called BTWIN. I wished a US company made similar products.
I didn’t stay to chat with them since I was at the cafe for over an hour already. I changed to some drier clothing got on Route 76 again toward Charlottesville. The ride consisted of more hills. By the time I climbed one there was another. However, I did arrive in downtown Charlottesville before 5 PM. Using Google Maps, I was able to navigate to Sarah and Bob’s place northwest of downtown.
I was glad to see Sarah when I pulled into the driveway. After meeting Bob, I got a tour of the house and Sarah showed me a cake she had made in the shape of a bicycle with a picture of me! She also bought some food supplies so that I can take them with me when I leave. Just what I needed since I had finished all my food. Bob decided that we all go to a buffet for dinner. I ate three plates, mostly meat, at the Wood Grill Buffet. I was so full that I began to have food coma.
(So nice and Sarah and Bob for the lovely sign!)
(Sarah made me a bicycle cake!)
(Sarah, posing with her painted dog statue, for a charity auction)
Back at Sarah and Bob’s place, I took s shower and did laundry. I was so tired that I went to bed at 10:30 PM.
This morning, I awoke at 8. Sarah and Bob were still sleeping. The plan for today is to go hang out in downtown Charlottesville. I will also need to fix my bike because the rear derailleur was squeaking after the ride in the rain. It looks like a sunny day today. So glad the rain is gone!